MORRISONS is to embark on a major relaunch of its multi-billion pound own label range and has poached Arla Foods’ top marketer to spearhead the campaign.
Danny Micklethwaite has left Leeds-based dairy group Arla to take on the newly created role of head of development at Bradford-based Morrisons.
Morrisons has trailed behind its rivals in own-label sales and chief executive Dalton Philips is keen to embark on a total overhaul to boost the business.
A spokesman said that this will be the single biggest review of Morrisons brand products.
“Everything is up for review,” he said. “We are looking at our entire own-brand development. There is a big thrust around branding and it’s where we want to be. We will produce new products and new branding in October.”
Morrisons’ own label has trailed rivals such as Leeds-based Asda, which successfully relaunched its mid-tier range as ‘Chosen by You’ last year.
Morrisons said that its own brand sales currently account for 43 per cent of sales, and said this figure lags behind its major competition.
As part of the relaunch Morrisons is offering internal training for colleagues this week and will start supplier training in the next couple of weeks.
The training will describe the new approach to Morrisons’ own brand, discuss quality levels and make sure suppliers deliver exactly what Morrisons is looking for.
Morrisons’ new private brand director Belinda Youngs said this will be “the most comprehensive review of the Morrisons’ brand ever conducted”.
She added that suppliers will be key to the success of own label categories and said she is committed to a partnership approach with Morrisons’ suppliers in order to deliver the ambitious new plans.
“We are not only investing in our internal processes from shop floor to boardroom, we will invest time, money and expertise to train our suppliers to deliver the quality, innovation and excellence Morrisons is dedicated to supplying in store for our customers day in, day out.”
The training will last throughout the summer.
As yet Morrisons is not disclosing the investment value of the relaunch and said it is too soon to say which direction the review will take.
Asda’s mid-tier brand ‘Chosen by You’ campaign last September was part of a £100m investment which included the relaunch of 3,500 products and the introduction of 500 new products.
A Morrisons spokeswoman said the relaunch would not be a cosmetic rebrand, but is designed to create long-term sustainable advantages for customers, shareholders and suppliers.
“We have a lot of labels and a lot of good products with more awards this year than our major competition which we’re really proud of, but our offer is not clear, consistent, differentiated and as much a reason to shop with us as it should be.”
She added that this applies across all sub brands and quality tiers. The aim is to strengthen the value perception of the Morrisons brand as well as significantly increase its quality perception.
Food innovation will be another aim as will explaining to customers that Morrisons is the only supermarket that controls the food production process from “field to fork”, ie, from sourcing the produce to manufacturing it.
Despite its relatively small size, Morrisons has more butchers, bakers and fishmongers preparing food in store than any of its rivals.
n UK grocers have seen a sharp slowdown in sales growth in recent weeks and cash-strapped shoppers are starting to switch to hard discount chains like Aldi and Lidl, market research group Kantar Worldpanel said.
Kantar said grocery sales rose 2.5 per cent year-on-year in the four weeks to June 12, compared with 4.7 per cent growth for the 12 weeks to June 2.
Privately-owned German discount chains Aldi and Lidl saw sales leap 18 per cent over the 12-week period to achieve record market shares of 3.4 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.
Kantar said the discounters are attracting some new customers, although most of their growth is coming from winning more business with existing shoppers.
Source : Yorkshire Post